Charles Darwin University Art Collection and Art Gallery

Charles Darwin University Art Collection and Art Gallery

Taksu: The Art of Bali – Recent Gifts to CDU Art Collection

23 October 2019 – 7 March 2020

For the first time in many years, Darwin audiences can see the rich diversity and splendour of Balinese art in an exhibition at Charles Darwin University Art Gallery.

Taksu: The Art of Bali profiles recent gifts to Charles Darwin University by two of Australia’s most prominent collectors of Balinese art, Michael Abbott AO QC and the late Christopher Hill.

Highlights include early 20th century sculpture, temple cloths, performance masks, and Wayang Kulit shadow puppets and paintings that demonstrate the inextricable links between Balinese ceremonial life and creativity.

Enhancing CDU’s cache of works from the Southeast Asian region, thirty works were gifted in 2016 by the family of avid art collector, curator and scholar Christopher Hill. Among the delights are three paintings by esteemed artist and healer I Ketut Liyer, who gained international celebrity when a character in the popular film Eat, Pray, Love was based on him.

Another painting, Bom Bali by I Dewa Putu Mokoh, is thought to be the only work by a Balinese artist that depicts the horror of the 2002 Bali bombings.

A further twenty works were gifted in 2018 from the extraordinary collection of Michael Abbott AO QC, including a keris charged with powerful magic, and a selection of increasingly rare and valuable masks and sculptures crafted in the early 20th century. A full set of vintage Wayang Kulit shadow puppets was also gifted, featuring characters and celestial weapons from traditional Balinese stories as well as the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabarata.

The exhibition also features loans from private collections, as well as from the Art Gallery of South Australia and Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

c. 1970s
wood, paint
48 x 31 x 20 cm
Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Michael Abbott AO QC in 2018
Charles Darwin University Art Collection, CDU3224